Page 11

VOL. 23 NO. 10

11

OUR TIME PRESS 7-13 March, 2019

GLORY: A Life Among Legends is the compassionate memoir of Dr. Glory Van Scott, the renowned dancer and producer. And something more, says Melony McGant, a friend and fan of the artist, who believes the book “a treasure trove of historic and personal photographs offering the reader glimpses of the passions of a generation in which Black culture took its place among the high arts and became its own voice in the Civil Rights Movement.” It is a “testament to the power of art, the power of commitment, the power of education,” according to the press release. But in the essay below, excerpted from the book, McGant gives us an up-close look at the woman – as an icon among icons.

Ode to Glory: A Note from Green Diamond

I

■■

By Melony McGant

know Dr. Glory as an actor, singer, choreographer, composer, dancer, director, producer, educator, humanitarian, legacy builder and keeper, loyal friend, godmother to many, sincere mentor and supporter of dreams. And always when I think of Dr. Glory, I am reminded of Miss Katherine Dunham. Both of these ladies captured the hearts of thousands through their work and have lived with a commitment to stretch the boundaries of possibility. Both shared the qualities of being artistic, keenly compassionate, exquisite in understanding, mystical, powerful, persistent, receptive and hugely talented.  Perhaps this is why, when I acted as an assistant to Miss Dunham, she would speak of Dr. Glory, who seemed to constantly be planning some event at Symphony Space to salute Miss Dunham or some other dance legend. Often, Miss Dunham would say, “Call Glory.” When she wanted something special or needed an opinion, it was, “Call Glory.”    When she needed transportation, it was “Call Glory.” Dr. Glory would arrange for her lighting designer, Bugsy (Leonard Buggs, affectionately known as the “Black Knight”), to transport Miss Dunham around New York City. When Oprah Winfrey named Miss Dunham as one of her legends, Miss Dunham shared the exquisite invitation with me and said, “Call Glory.”   And when Miss Dunham ascended on May 21, 2006, ten days after she had finally achieved her wish of meeting and speaking to Oprah face-to-face, and twenty days after the Boule Blanche, held at Riverside Church and produced by Dr. Glory to honor the publication of Miss Dunham’s last book, Kaiso! I received a phone call immediately. It was as if Miss Dunham was speaking from the Heavens. I was asked to “Call Glory.”  At the time, Dr. Glory was traveling in Venice and had no working phone. Strangely, though, she had called me the day before just to say hello. The phone number was still in my phone and I called with the hope that I could reach her. And somehow, I did. She was at dinner with her beloved Mr. George Wein. I don’t think my call surprised her because even at the Boule Blanche, she had had the feeling that those were Miss Dunham’s final days on this earthly realm.   Dr. Glory  requested that I immediately contact her friend Jennifer Dunning. Miss Dunning, then-dance critic at the New York Times, was able to write a profoundly touching obituary for publication in the newspaper.  Through performance and producing,

Dr. Glory Van Scott has honored the legacies of Miss Katherine Dunham, Syvilla Forte, Agnes De Mille, Talley Beatty, Pearl Reynolds, Fred Benjamin, Louis Johnson, Joan Peters, Loretta Abbott and several others. She is the keeper and purveyor of good

memories of those she has been affiliated with in the artistic community. I began working with Dr. Glory through Miss Dunham. I was given the privilege of seeing pictures, memorabilia and writings about her life as a dancer, a model and a

Broadway performer. The more I learned about Dr. Glory, the more I thought that her story would make a wonderful book—and a beautiful movie. And yet, when I would ➔➔ Continued on page 12

The Office of the Brooklyn Borough President cordially invites you to

The Sixth Annual

Women’s History Month Celebration Honoring Brooklyn’s First: Diverse Women Who Are Breaking Barriers and Blazing Trails

THURSDAY, MARCH 28, 2019 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM Brooklyn Borough Hall 209 Joralemon Street Brooklyn, NY 11201 TRANSPORTATION Buses: B25, B26, B38, B52, and B103 Brooklyn Borough Hall is ADA-accessible and breastfeeding-friendly

RSVP to: (718) 802-3946 or brooklyn.usa.org/2019WHM brooklyn-usa.org

Funded by a grant from the NYC & Company Foundation

Profile for Mike Kurov

OUR TIME PRESS | March 7-13, 2019  

OUR TIME PRESS | March 7-13, 2019  

Profile for makf
Advertisement